Many bizarre creatures are found worldwide; however, Americans tend to think these animals reside deep in the jungle or at the bottom of the ocean, not in their backyards. Below is a highlight reel of the weird and strange, an ode to the menagerie of curious animals that call the United States of America home.
The Jaguarundi is the first to make our list of bizarre creatures. When most people think of predatory felines, they think of large cats pouncing down from jungle trees. The Jaguarundi does neither of these; it is one of the few terrestrial predatory cats, meaning it would rather stay on the ground.
The fundamental factor that makes these small kitties so interesting is their vocal range. The Jaguarundi can produce up to 13 different vocalizations. The ground-dwelling cats can learn to growl, whistle, chirp, purr, and has even been known to scream! Many cats in the animal kingdom use their voices to communicate, but none, as well as the Jaguarundi.
Its hunting prowess and ability to produce a wide range of vocal sounds make the Jaguarundi quite a bizarre animal.
3. Craspedacusta Sowerbii (Freshwater Jellyfish)
The Freshwater Jellyfish swims in at number three on our list of bizarre creatures. These translucent hydrozoans have always intrigued curious minds by appearance alone. They look as though they should reside in the ocean's cold depths, but instead, they enjoy freshwater lakes and streams and are fragile to saltwater bodies of water.
The Craspedacusta Sowerbii are most notably found in/near the Yangtze River in China, which is why it is so bizarre to find them occupying much of the Midwest. The great lakes basin holds many of these underwater aliens; Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana record the most sightings.
It is still being determined how these aquatic beings made it from the Yangtze to the breadbasket of the United States. Some say they were transported over for fish stock or with decorative plants; either way, they are here to stay.
The other strangeness associated with the Freshwater Jellyfish here in the States is there will be an abundance of them one year, sightings everywhere, and other years they are virtually non-existent. The coming and going of the Jellyfish baffles both Midwestern residents and researchers alike.
2. Northern Snakehead Fish
The Northern Snakehead Fish is not just one of the strangest creatures in the United States. Its exciting adaptations make it one of the oddest creatures in the animal kingdom.
These aquatic beasts can range from one to three feet and weigh up to 40 pounds. The immigration of these fish was thought to have come to the northeast waterways through live fish markets or exotic aquarium owners wishing to fill their tanks. If they came to the United States via the latter, it would be troublesome because of their invasive nature, which has made them illegal to own.
Being an illegal immigrant as a fish is already bizarre, but that, coupled with their migratory adaptations, sets the Northern Snakehead Fish apart from the rest of the list.
These swimmers can also walk, yes walk, and live on land. The old chum has developed gills capable of breathing oxygen, thus lending the animal an outlet to spend time outside the water. They have been known to survive up to four days on dry land, provided that their bodies are semi-wet.
The Northern Snakehead fish can not only survive on land but it has figured out a way to move and migrate to other places. An ode to its namesake, the Snakehead moves its head and anal fin in opposite directions (much like a snake) to traverse the land. Using its ability to travel and breathe on land, the Northern Snakehead Fish slithers into number two on the list of bizarre animals found in the US.
1. Star-Nosed Mole
The Star-Nosed Mole could be something straight out of a science fiction movie. The mole's appearance alone could land it on the main stage of any sideshow circus act, but that's not the only reason it is number one on the list of most bizarre creatures in the United States.
The most unusual thing about the Star-Nosed Mole is, in fact, its star-shaped nose. The mole uses this tool to feel and taste more than smell. The species is known for its ability to detect and devour its prey quickly. Most bugs in their cone of death last less than a second before being consumed.
Moles are generally not known for their underwater prowess, but the Star-Nosed is the exception. The rodent has developed the most bizarre underwater hunting detection technique in the Appalachians or northeast where it resides.
The Star-Nosed Mole will blow bubbles underwater and re-inhale them to "smell" or detect close prey. This, by far, is one of the strangest predatory abilities used worldwide, much less in the US.
Its odd appearance and appalling ways of detecting prey help the Star-Nosed Mole dig past the competition and land itself at number one on our list of bizarre creatures found in the USA. Sources